Last night we went on a rather good culinary adventure. In fact, I’d say we went on a truly successful adventure. Of course, it’s probably not something that would be considered healthy, but it got protein in me, which is a big accomplishment.
What was this miracle food, you ask? It was a hash brown casserole based off of two different recipes I have found on the internet: Paula Deen’s Hash brown Casserole and a potato and sausage casserole that I found on this forum (it’s the sixth recipe down under the title “Sausage Potato Bake”).
Here are the changes I made:
1) Paula’s recipe calls for chopped onions, the forum’s recipe calls for diced onions, but I used bigger chunks due to simple personal preference: I cut the whole onion into thin slices and then quartered the slices.
2) Paula’s recipe includes a layer of cubed French or Italian bread. I thought that there would be enough carbs/starch with the hash browns and I didn’t want to spend the money on a specialty bread, so I left this out.
3) Due to the fact that I did not have 8 eggs in my freezer (and the fact that I had eliminated the bread layer), I only used 5 eggs. I also reduced the milk to 1 1/2 cups instead of the 2 1/4.
4) I also left out the nutmeg (because I couldn’t find it in our as-of-yet unpacked spice box) and the dijon mustard because we were out.
5) Finally, because I wanted to try the recipe with pepper jack cheese on it (because I love spicy things and I love that aspect of the forum’s recipe), I actually used two smaller dishes rather than one 13 x 9 dish. I put the casserole together following Paula’s direction, simply substituting pepper jack cheese slices on one of the two dishes.
Here are some pictures:
They both turned out really yummy and could easily be used for any meal of the day. I’m glad that we left the bread out, because I found the meat to potato to egg to cheese ratio perfect. I do, however, think it would have been nice if the onion flavor had come through stronger.
As for the cheeses, I had used grated Parmesan cheese and I couldn’t taste it past the cheddar cheese. I don’t know if I didn’t use enough (because I wasn’t in the mood to measure) or if it would have had a stronger flavor if it had been shredded or sliced Parmesan. The pepper jack on the other casserole went beyond scrumptious and into the realm of heavenly.
My husband gave his seal of approval on both varieties and we’re having the leftovers for lunch today. I’m practically counting down the minutes until I can have the pepper jack version again. Yuuu-uum!
To my readers: What type of cheese would you want to try on this casserole?